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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/530

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

human being brings into the world far more intellect than talent for language."

We may now proceed with Toots, since we have found for him common footing with the speechless human baby. The necessity of words to thinking will not be an a priori bar to the proper interpretation of his acts. Mere tricks acquired by dogs are of small value for our purpose, since they may be referred to reflex action. Our concern is rather with those spontaneous and self-directed acts of perception, adaptation, combination, and invention which can not be performed without the exercise of genuine intellectual power. At an early period Toots discovered an instinctive hostility to mice, moles, and black cats. His puppyhood was passed in company with a gray kitten, whom he treated with respect and affection, never failing to impress a kiss on its nose when morning came, or after temporary separation. His association of mice, moles, and black cats, and his discrimination in favor of light-colored cats, suggest a perception of color, if not a concept, which his actions have rendered unmistakable. I took him to the house of a neighbor one day, where he fell in with a litter of white-and-gray kittens, entirely strange to him, and he treated them with the utmost kindness. A day or two afterward he was introduced to a litter of black kittens, when, had he been permitted, he would have torn them in pieces. In this idea of "black" it will hardly be claimed that Toots has an abstract concept of color, but has not he a vague concept such as a baby has of "red," not redness? Otherwise, why is it that he entertains an equally intense aversion to black dogs?

The observing powers of this witty animal, and the resulting inventions and devices, have experienced spontaneous development in company with his human friends. He possesses in a rare degree the power of laughing, or, more correctly, of smiling. In a high state of pleasurable emotion he parts his lips, shows his teeth, and wrinkles the skin of his cheeks, so as to leave a corrugated appearance, like the permanent expression of the nose in the ribbed-nose or mandrill baboon. He reserves this laugh for his friends, however, when he knows that they are returning from an absence of considerable length, and never bestows it for a brief separation, unless called upon to laugh. His sign and vocal language is of his own adaptation. For a drink of water he has one combination; another for a request to be let out of the house, and still a different one to pass out at the gate into the street. He instantly observes any change in the dress of his three mistresses, which change he assumes as a preparation for an outing, and makes a corresponding request. The putting on of a skullcap by his master brings from him a mild petition to go out into the yard; but when the tall hat appears, and a cane in hand, he runs